09 January 2013


Acri is a small town--about 20,000 people--spread out over a range of hilltops.  The place makes San Francisco look like Nebraska.  It is in the Cosenza region of Calabria in southern Italy.  It is truly a beautiful place.

We went to the church of San Domenico (St. Dominic) there, which the Dominicans had from the 16th century until the supression of the religious orders in Italy in the late 19th century.  We entered at the tail end of Sunday Mass.  Afterwards we met the local pastor, Don Fiore.  He said that it was like a vision, looking up from Mass and seeing two Dominicans in white enter his little church of St. Dominic!  He and his parishioners were extremely kind to us.  They bought us breakfast and talked to us about the town.  The parish Deacon then offered to bring us to the town offices to look through the historical records for the family of the Dominican who came with me.  We went through a number of books and found a great deal of information about his family.

We also had Mass at the Franciscan church, the Basilica of Beato Angelo.  Bl. Angelo was a Capuchin friar from Acri, whose relics are in the Basilica.  The Basilica was built largely on the donations of Italian immigrants from Acri who had moved to the U.S.  The Franciscans were also incredibly kind.  Not only did they allow us to celebrate Mass, but they also invited us to a great lunch with them.

Bl. Angelo has a great devotion to the Mater Dolorosa.  The chapel has a very beautiful image of that title of Mary. 

My sister also insisted we take a picture of a medieval crucifix.  Well, this crucifix is housed in a church--Santa Maria Maggiore--on the top of one of the more remote hills of Acri.  I have never driven tighter corners than we did to get there.  And then getting home, my GPS decided we would drive a barely paved road all the way down the side of one mountain, just so we could drive back up the side of another.  When we got to a dirt road, the other priest, who was driving, had had enough, so we went back the way we came and found a slightly better--or, at least, safer--route.

Below is are the pictures I took.  Unfortunately, even though I remembered everything else, I forgot to take the good camera with me.  There are all from my cellphone.